Sacred Harp Bremen (Germany)

Sacred Harp ist a cappella Heavy Metal

Many of us know about the website Sacred Harp Breman. When we’re stuck trying to figure out a song, the robot voices are always there to sing our part and help us figure it out. All the Sacred Harp songs have been transcoded into playable sound files along with the poetry, a PDF, and links to YouTube versions of the song. It’s quite useful. The site also has a wealth of Shape Note tips, articles, videos, links, and a wonderful documentary about the formation of the Bremen Group called Shape, Rattle & Roll.

But now, this wonderful site is challenged. Read this from Paul Kolenbrander:

“Most of you will be familiar with the Sacred Harp Bremen website and will have heard the infamous robotic voices of our songs. The site, or rather the 3 sites, Denson, Christian Harmony and Shenandoah, continue to receive many visits daily.

It is with some hesitation that I write this post asking for help from the Sacred Harp community. The cost of keeping our sites running has risen sharply recently. With skyrocketing energy prices in Europe, hosting costs have also risen dramatically. Today our hosting company announced a hefty rate increase for the second time this year. This is now starting to get in over our heads. The last thing we want is to shut down the websites, but in order to keep them running I would like to ask for your help by making a donation. Any contribution is very welcome and greatly appreciated. We solemnly promise that any donation will be used exclusively for the websites.

The link below shows how to make a donation. If anyone has other ways to help us, please feel free to send me a personal message. Thank you in advance for your help!”

—Paul Kolenbrander

So, please think about chipping in if you are able:

15th Annual Central Ontario All-Day Sacred Harp Singing

(plus bonus evening Shenandoah Harmony Singing)

On Saturday, August 27, 2020 the Central Ontario All-Day Sacred Harp singing took place after a couple of years of delay. The previous evening, we held an informal singing from The Shenandoah Harmony. We sang at the Toronto Friends House, where we have been having our monthly singings.
Here are photos from the all-day singing with dinner-on-the-grounds.

And here are photos from the Friday evening Shenandoah Harmony singing.

Shape Note Eucharist

Sing and Joyful Be

Sunday, January 27, 7:00pm – 8:00pm

162 Bloor Street West, at the corner of Bloor and Avenue Road

Join us for Eucharist in the round, featuring hymns from the shape note singing tradition of The Sacred Harp hymnbook. Our congregational voices will be supported by experienced singers of this unique music tradition. Come worship and sing!

Details on Facebook and the church website.

First Annual Central Ontario Convention photos

After holding our all-day singings for fourteen years, we upgraded to holding a two-day Convention with a singing school session the evening before. And it turned out great. Thank you to everyone who made the journey there and added their voices.

The weekend started with a Singing School at the Friends House in the Annex in Toronto with special guest Bridgett Hill Kennedy. Bridgett gave a personal and moving talk on the deep community, friendships and bonds that grow with Shape Note music and singings.

Continuing on Saturday morning at the Friends House was our first day of singing. Dinner on the grounds happened in the backyard and in various rooms in the historic structure. That evening at Chuck & Pleasance’s condo we gathered again for a social with Toronto-style takeout and singing from the Northern Harmony (which could be heard out the fourth-floor at least a half-block away).

On Sunday we traveled back down the 401 to the Detweiler Meetinghouse where we previously held annual singings. A warmer day made our southern friends feel right at home. Again we shared midday dinner on the grounds under the tent. A full house in the meetinghouse filled that room to overflowing with the power of our voices.

We look forward to doing it all again next year on the fourth Sunday in August and the Friday night and Saturday before. Please mark your calendars now!

On behalf of Chairperson Jan May and the entire Toronto Shape Note Community, our heartfelt thanks for your friendship and support!